March 17, 2008

Today I’m tired, and depressed.  It’s going to take more than a green beer to cheer me up.

Even though I know that I should expect some emotional fallout from just having had surgery, and potential mood swings from entering menopause, I am just tired of dealing with cancer, of dealing with the “necessary” mutilations done to my body, and of dealing with having to go through recovery from surgery once again.  I’m angry at having to be afraid of getting another pulmonary embolism, one that might be less survivable than the last ones.  I’m frustrated at having to take all this time off work, with *none* of it being vacation, and all of it stuck at home.  I’m hurt at friends who don’t call, or e-mail, or visit; and annoyed at people who feel as if I should be calling them long distance because I’ve got all kinds of time on my hands and they are important enough to warrant a personal report on how I’m doing, without considering that I haven’t had more than half a paycheck coming in since September.  I’m sad because my hair will grow back, but my breasts won’t; and devastated at what I consider to be the awful results of the reconstruction.  I feel guilty for not having the dna testing that would tell us if my family carries the breast cancer gene markers; and worried because the extensive family history seems pretty clearly indicative that it does.  I’m grumpy about not being able to sleep at night.  I’m afraid that I won’t be insurable in the future, and I’m not even fifty yet.

However, I am grateful for the friends and family who do call, e-mail, and visit, and most importantly, care; for the fact that I was very fortunate to catch the cancer early; for the fact that I survived a pulmonary embolism in each lung, in spite of being misdiagnosed at first; for being able to take as much time off as I have and still being able to meet our mortgage payment and other important bills; and for not yet being fifty.

I’ll get over the depression, and one of these days I won’t be tired out, I’ll get back to being able to sleep at night, and will even have times when I do not think about what I’ve had to do to my body to survive, because I won’t have constant reminders of pain and discomfort that force my attention to my scars and my misshapen form.

2 Responses to “March 17, 2008”

  1. 1 Wendy Seamon
    March 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Julie,
    I hate to hear you feeling so sad. I’m sure it’s normal to feel that way, but know that all of us here at the office are thinking about you. People ask me all the time how you are doing, and I always tell them how positive you have been throughout everything. That is a great strength that you have! If only all of us could be as brave as you. Take it easy so you can get yourself back here!!
    Best, Wendy

  2. 2 Kevin
    March 23, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Hi Julie,

    You have every right to feel the way that you do! It is okay to be sad, mad, depressed, angry, disillusioned, and totally drained. These are not good feelings but perhaps these are the best way your physical/psychological/spiritual “self” can cope with all that you have been going through! I would like to say this (and you can take it or leave it): You won’t feel this way forever, it will change! Look at what you have done so far…you are a SURVIVOR and you are doing the absolute best that anyone could possibly do with all of this stuff. This has been and is a MAJOR change in your life, a PIVOTAL time.

    Wendy is correct, when I read your writings I see a positive, strong, and courageous person. Give yourself permission to work through it all and to actually “feel” these feelings! Looking back at this time may help you to determine the tremendous and rewarding feelings of accomplishment and love that you will feel for yourself, because the negative or hurtful feelings (which are valid and okay) will not last forever. They will be replaced with different feelings, perhaps ones that will help you to feel powerful, encouraged, and self-assured.

    I admire you, and I see a new season of life for you. Yes, it is different, and it has not been pleasant, but it will not be this way forever, as I mentioned above- it will change. The only constant in this life is change. Ironic, huh?

    Take care of yourself first and foremost, reach out when you need to, and give all of the people in your life permission to learn too! This has all been very different and not pleasant for so many who care for you. That (they) will change too!!

    I am happy that I know you and I admire you.


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